Slicers’ Spanish spring break
Spring Break for a group of Slicers had a Spanish flair.
42 students gathered at LaPorte High School to set off on their one week trip to Spain, Barcelona and Madrid over spring break. The students and chaperones loaded into a large motor-coach bus and made the drive to O’Hare Airport. There they made an in-total travel flight of 10 hours with an hour layover in Germany. Each day brought similar activities such as everyone eating breakfast together in the hotel, having lunch with their chaperone groups, and eating dinner at a specially ordered restaurant as a group.
After that, students had many different and spectacular adventures each day, which Slicer Newsroom documents below.
Immediately after landing in Barcelona, those on the trip moved into another travel bus heading to their first of two hotels. When done checking in and dropping off their items, the staff and students met with Odette, the tour guide for LPHS. Odette was with the tourists for the entire trip and left an important mark on them.
“I loved how sweet and content she was with us. When we struggled, she was there to take over and guide us in the right directions, and gave us one of the best experiences of our lives,” Jasmyne Absher, senior, said.
After meeting with Odette, the students split up into chaperone groups, which were mostly led by LPHS staff including Mrs. Bockhorst, Mrs. Lancioni, Mrs. Henderson, and Officer McCoy. These chaperone groups were a quick and easy way to take attendance, and they were also the assigned lunch groups. Everyone then started on their way to the subway for their first stop: Las Ramblas.
Las Ramblas is the main town square in Barcelona flooded with shops, restaurants, and beautiful architecture. There, the students were able to take photos, visit shops, and explore the square.
The next day, after having breakfast, students gathered together and ventured to La Sagrada Familia and Parque Guell to take a look at some of the most well-known architecture in Spain. Here, students and chaperones were led through the park by a special tour guide.
Later in the day, those who signed up for the Barcelona by Bike excursion met in the square and geared up for the ride. Students were split up into three groups and taken through the city of Barcelona and down to the beach where they stopped and dipped their toes in the water. On the way, however, a few stops were made including the fountain in the park, the government building, and every now and then for people to catch up.
“We rode through Barcelona and saw the daily life of people who live there. My favorite part was to see and be in the Mediterranean Sea. I would definitely do it again,” Jacinto Garcia, junior, said.
If students did not sign up to go on the excursion, they were able to venture to shops and adventure with chaperones.
After waking up bright and early, everyone gathered at Las Ramblas in preparation for the long-waited scavenger hunt that the students found out about earlier in the year. Students split up into their chaperone groups, received a map, a paper of riddles, and were sent on their way in hopes of being the grand champ. Students raced through the streets of Barcelona, asking around for directions in Spanish, and completing different activities.
That same evening everyone loaded into the travel bus and started on their journey to Montserrat. The winding road around the mountain gave off a beautiful scenery to see, and once to the top, most wanted to take some photos overlooking the valley.
“The view was breathtaking, and the architecture throughout the whole town was incredible. I wish I could go back,” Lauren Bockhorst, junior, said.
Following pictures, Odette led everyone into the large church located in the center of Montserrat. The architecture was grand and incredible to see. Once the students and staff made their way through the entire building, they were set free to look around on their own and do a little shopping. Before departing, everyone was given a set time and meeting point, and then they were off.
Most of day four was traveling to Madrid from Barcelona. The total drive was about four hours. Students and chaperones used this time to catch up on some sleep and relax. There was one stop before Madrid, and that was Zaragoza. Here, chaperone groups grabbed lunch and visited the Basilica del Pilar. Upon arrival to Madrid, students checked in to their hotels and preceded to prepare for dinner.
The first day in Madrid started with a visit to the Royal Palace where they had the opportunity of seeing the changing of the guards. Later, everyone was scheduled to take a flamenco dance lesson and then watch a professional show. Flamenco dancing is the most popular form of dancing in Spain, and most students enjoyed learning the new form of dance.
“I would say it was a very different experience, but it was a good time. Seeing everyone learn a dance from a different culture was amazing, and I’m super grateful to have gotten the chance to learn a dance from Spain, in Spain,” Lluvia Garcia, senior, said.
Before departing home, students had a busy day. In the morning, those who signed up for the Toledo excursion were able to leave and explore the city. Those who stayed back were able to visit Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and admire some well-known and famous artworks.
Altogether, the Slicer travelers visited the Prado museum, which is the National Museum in Spain. The Prado contains famous and sought after paintings, and contains various of levels and rooms full of artwork.
“It was really interesting to see the rich history and culture of the country in the museum,” Rebecca Eyrick, senior, said.
LPHS ended the night with a surprise from Odette. She led them to her favorite place to take tourists after every tour, and together they enjoyed chocolate a churros as a last farewell.
On the last day of the trip, students gathered all of their belongings from the hotel and prepared to head to the airport. Only 10 hours and the Slicer tourists would arrive back home around 10:00p.m.. This trip to Spain was a once in a lifetime opportunity for most and this experience will surely not be forgotten.